FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas officially announced the hiring of Joe Craddock as its next offensive coordinator on Tuesday.
Craddock has spent the last month working on the recruiting trail for the Razorbacks despite not yet being officially introduced. He arrives from SMU, where he served as offensive coordinator under Chad Morris for three seasons. He also worked under Morris at Clemson.
The media spoke to Craddock for the first time since his hiring Wedensday morning. Here’s are some of the highlights from what he had to say:
- Craddock says the offensive line has a little bit of weight to lose. The offense as a whole is going to do more running than Craddock believes they are previously used to.
- Craddock says both he and Morris recently talked about how fast things have moved for both. “I’ve been surprised, but I know I’ve worked really, really hard.”
- The tight end position at Arkansas is one that Craddock is particularly excited about. He says the offense, that is two-back and run oriented, needs strong tight ends to be as successful as it can be.
- Craddock has spoken with quarterback Cole Kelley about dropping some weight in order to be better fit to run the offense. He says he spoke with him this morning and he’s already down in weight.
- The quarterback competition will be wide open beginning this spring. Kelley is the only returning quarterback with starting experience.
- The continuity among the coaching staff, with several coming from SMU, is something Craddock feels will be a huge benefit. “I’m extremely excited about my staff. They know what I’m looking for, and what Coach Morris is looking for, and that’s going to be a huge help with this transition.”
- Craddock on what he wants from his offensive line: “It’s a big misconception that it’s a big, fat guy playing offense line. Our offensive linemen have got to be able to move, have strength, use their hands and have flexibility. We’ll get those guys where we want them.”
- Speed at wide receiver is going to be a major focus in recruiting, Craddock says. But that isn’t the biggest with the current roster. “I think we’ve got enough speed that we’re going to be OK. I think the biggest thing is the stature. We’ve got to get some bigger guys here.”
- Craddock is from Alabama, he says his mom was a Auburn fan and his dad was an Alabama fan. He says he was a fan of one of them, but does not specifically say which one. “I’m excited to have the Razorback on my chest.”